A precarious six point lead at halftime would turn into an absolute rout as the second half played out. The offense was on fire and the defense was dominant. Plenty of good to breakdown as we hit the play button and continue our Film Study of the K-State game.
* 12:39 3rd Qtr, 3rd and 4 KSU. OU is in their four DE front, but Washington is standing up. At the snap, he drops into pass coverage as both Wort and Jefferson come on a blitz. Frank Alexander was lined up at a DT spot, and gets a great jump beating his man inside. He uses that leverage to get upfield, as he's being held mind you, to blow up Klein's attempted run play, dragging him down for a four yard loss. Just an outstanding individual effort as he continues to have a superb senior season.
* Okay, so this is also the play where the K-State fans get their panties in a bunch when after Alexander takes down Klein he steps on his chest. If you would have them tell you what happened, you'd think that Alexander used his chest as a trampoline or something. I mean I read one of their comments this morning saying Klein could have had a broken rib after it happened. I mean, really?
I get the purple colored glasses and all, but if you have even the slightest shred of objectivity you can clearly see that it was an accident. And even more to the point, he barely even puts his weight on on that leg before Klein shoves it off. To claim a broken rib is quite possibly the dumbest thing I've read and easily the biggest overreaction to something nowhere near as sinister as they'd have you believe. Then they show Alexander back on the sidelines having stuff thrown at him by the K-State fans. Keep it classy fellas! Oh and if Sean McDonough were openly campaigning for penalties against OU in this game I would have sworn he was either a K-State graduate or on their payroll. Way to maintain that objectivity Sean!
* 10:54 3rd Qtr, 2nd and 10 OU. It's a simple inside hand off to Finch, but this is about how much better our o-line played in this game. As you can see in this pic:
Finch has a huge hole to run through thanks to outstanding blocks by Ikard, Shead (again), and Stephenson. If Stills (the player you see downfield) gets a better block it might even be more than the 19-yard gain it turns out to be, but the o-line is deserving of the attention here. Simply outstanding and what we've been looking for from them all year.
* On the very next play, again something that looks so simple. Just a little out route to Broyles who is somehow uncovered on the play apparently. He turns it upfield as a KSU safety comes over to make the play up against the OU sideline. The defender is clearly looking to just bump him out of bounds, but Broyles either absorbs or deflects the blow and tip-toes his way up the sideline for a very pretty TD. Credit to Jaz Reynolds as well for an excellent downfield block as Broyles very likely doesn't get into the end zone without it. 30-17 OU
* On the kick return, KSU fans again get all worked up over nothing even starting a "Bleep OU" chant. They show the replay multiple times and the only thing it could possibly be was Kellen Jones getting up after tackling Lockett? I guess they think he shoved him back to the ground or something, but IMO it was way more an acting job by Lockett than anything else. Pretty clear it was yet another overreaction by the people in purple.
* Random note - Want to give credit where it's due through the first half and early third quarter, to the OU secondary. Coming off a miserable performance against Tech, pretty much every sack the defense has got thus far has been due to their coverage. No slight to our front four/seven, but Klein has had no one to throw to allowing the rush to get there.
* Random note - Six minute mark in the third quarter and Brennan Clay makes his first appearance. Not sure why if he was able to play, which is obviously the case since he's in now, that he just makes it into the game now?
* 4:58 3rd Qtr, 3rd and 4 OU. James Hanna with a 37-yard catch. He is lined up in the slot and just runs a short option route to the inside. Landry does a very good job stepping up into the pocket (again progress Landry show up!) as Hanna beats his man and then turns on the jets. He is a significant mismatch against almost any LB and it was a welcome sight to see him get more involved in the offense this week.
* Very next play, they go back to Jaz up the seam off play action. Arthur Brown got caught looking into the backfield and beat pretty bad on this play. Jaz makes about the smoothest one hand catch you'll ever see, never even bringing his second hand onto the ball at any point. That was pretty bad a$$. 37-17 OU
* 4:26 3rd Qtr, 1st and 10 KSU. OU is back in their three man front for some reason and it works here, but again IMO it's a credit to the OU secondary. Klein rolls out to his right, but no one is open so he's forced to hold onto it as he continues to roll out. Jefferson is crashing down hard on a backside blitz, while The Hammer is matched up one-on-one with the right tackle. Ronnell manages to fight him off as Klein rolls right into a hit I can guarantee you he's feeling today. Lewis lives up to his nickname and drives Klein into the ground.
* Random note - Really liked what we did with Finch in the pass game. He made several catches where he was put in a position to make plays in space and he did exactly that. This is something that needs to be replicated going forward. This kid, with the ball in his hands in space, is flat out special.
* 1:34 3rd Qtr, 2nd and 10 OU. Finch's 31-yard TD run. AGAIN! It's Adam Shead with an absolutely textbook block. He pulls from his left guard spot as the right side crashes down creating a big hole for Finch. He explodes through it, getting to the second level of the defense in the blink of an eye. Seeing the safety come up, he makes a stutter step move that just absolutely freezes him and gets him off balance so when he tries to make the tackle, Finch runs right through it. Then he has the speed to outrun the CB trying to track him down from behind. Just a beautiful run and perfect blocking. Then Finch does something that just puts a big smile on my face. They show him after the play, go over and give Dom Whaley a hug. It was easily my favorite moment from this entire game. Easily. 44-17 OU
* Random note - I'm a fan of Aaron Colvin at safety, but for his future he needs to be playing corner IMO. He is a potential lockdown NFL corner, showed it last year and has done the exact same when shifted there these last two games.
* 0:10 3rd Qtr, 1st and 10 OU. After a Jefferson sack and KSU punt, OU takes over at their own 33. Heupel goes back to the deep Stills post route that Landry threw his second INT on. This time it isn't under thrown and Stills bobbles it, but it able to haul it in for a big gain. I'm no coach, but I have to think that wasn't an accident by Heupel. Confidence builder in Landry and this offense to execute a play that had failed earlier in the game.
End of the third, still 44-17 OU.
* 14:27 4th Qtr, 2nd and 10 OU. Again I'm no expert, but I'd point to three things OU did differently in the red zone this game that may explain their success. (1) The Blake Bell package, (2) more play action, and (3) the TEs. Here they go to Trent Ratterree who makes a very nice catch for the TD. We've seen it a bunch of times today, but our guys catch the ball with their hands not their bodies. I know that sounds stupid, but if you played or have watched this game long enough you know that is an attribute you want in your WRs/TEs. Whatever Norvell and Kittle are teaching these guys in practice, like catching tennis balls which they do, please keep it up. It's working!
* At this point it's just not fair. Klein has to throw, which is clearly not his or this offense's strong suit, and the OU defense is just pinning their ears back. I'd say the second half improvement was both in part to the defense defending what KSU tried to do much, much better, but also had the benefit of a big lead.
* 11:18 4th Qtr, 1st and 10 OU. Here comes the big man! Seriously, if there is a more talented fullback in the country you're going to have to point him out to me. Another perfectly blocked play by the o-line and Ratterree, creating a gigantic hole for Millard.
But give him credit because he makes three guys miss, even high stepping it a little bit for a sec, and Millard has got some speed! Not very often you get that kind of play from your fullback. Fun moment, they show him and his teammates joking around about it on the sideline. I'm sure there will be plenty of comments on his run when they do their film review. 58-17 OU
* From here on out, it's pretty much just OU killing clock. I will say though, Brandon Williams gets in and has to face a defense that knows he is coming. I was still impressed with some of his runs and obviously very happy that he held on to the ball. It may seem like some meaningless carries, but I really think they helped the coaches gain some confidence in him. And now with Whaley out, they needed that because he is going to have to play. There is just no way around it.
All around, arguably the best half of football we've played all year (though the first half in Dallas would be pretty darn close). We can only hope they carry over this performance to next week at home against the Aggies and give them the good-bye a$$ kicking we all know they deserve!